We don’t want Port to be next cluster: local officials

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Leaders in the Port Washington area are asking residents to adhere to protocols in order to keep the area from becoming a cluster zone. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Ten local officials who govern the Port Washington area have signed an open letter asking the area’s residents to adhere to guidelines to avoid a cluster of COVID-19 cases as the area has seen a rise in recent weeks.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte are all listed as signers of the letter.

In addition to the town and county officials, Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson, Port Washington North Mayor Robert Weitzner, Sands Point Mayor Ed Adler, Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena, and Flower Hill Mayor Brian Herrington, as well as Port Washington School District Superintendent Michael Hynes, are also listed as signatories.

The Port Washington area has seen over 600 cases over the course of the pandemic, with 129 in Flower Hill, 149 in Manorhaven, 40 in Port Washington North, 56 in Sands Point, 25 in Baxter Estates, and 367 in unincorporated areas of Port Washington, with its school district having the most of any North Shore system at 28 among students and five among staff.

The letter begins by noting that New York State has seen an increase in positive COVID-19 diagnoses which led to clusters in Queens, Brooklyn, and other areas.

“Unfortunately, there has also been an increasing number of reported COVID-19 cases in Port Washington as well,”  “We do not want to be the next cluster, and we must work together to ensure that our community remains vigilant against the spread of COVID-19.”

The letter goes on to implore residence to adhere to six feet of social distancing, washing one’s hands regularly; avoiding touching one’s face; avoiding large social gatherings and events; and, “most importantly,” wearing a mask in public whenever one are unable to social distance.

“These measures have been extremely effective at slowing and preventing the spread of the virus, and we implore you to follow them,” the letter says.

The officials also make note of New York State’s new COVID Alert NY app, which allows residents to use their phones’ Bluetooth technology to detect when another phone, with the app, is within six feet.

Those with the app on their phone will receive an alert if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

Residents are also reminded that indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people, and are encouraged to contact the Nassau County Fire Marshal, Port Washington Police District, the Village of Sands Point Police, Nassau County Police if they are concerned about public safety issues.

“Large gatherings lead to clusters, which in turn lead to community spread,” the letter reads.

The letter ends by reiterating the need for social distancing, wearing a mask and washing one’s hands.

“We are all in this together, and it is up to each and every one of us to do our part to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 in our community,” the letter reads.

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